Berry Enticing

28th September 2018

Acai berries have been consumed for thousands of years – and with these tiny fruits claiming a whole host of health benefits, this can only be a good thing. Nutritionist Cassandra Barns shares five reasons to indulge in this health boosting superfood…

Protect your eyesight…

Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is highly nutrient-dense. Its vitamin A content makes it a great food to support healthy skin and optimal eye function.

Get more out of the gym…

Try taking it before and after a workout as it is an excellent source of vitamin E, which helps to protect the body’s cells against oxidative stress.

Relax your muscles…

Potassium, which is needed for normal muscle and nervous system function, is found in abundance in acai. Often we have a high dietary intake of sodium and not enough of potassium and this fruit may help maintain the right balance in the body.

Strengthen your bones…

Calcium, the mineral found most plentifully in the body, is also found in acai. As well as being required for healthy bones, muscles and teeth, it’s also needed for cell division and neurotransmitter function (the important signals that take place between neurons and cells).

Look and feel younger…

Acai berries score very highly on the ORAC scale, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, a unit of measurement of antioxidants. Acai’s free radical-quenching capacity makes them very popular. Excess free radicals react with molecules inside cells and damage DNA, which leads to mutations and ageing of the cells, as well as a whole host of diseases. In fact, many studies have demonstrated that free radical damage is the main cause of premature ageing since the DNA damage decreases the life of the cell. Incorporating foods that rate highly on the ORAC scale, such as acai berries, may just be the way to go for those on the quest for the fountain of youth…

The acai berry is an inch-long, reddish-purple fruit that comes from the acai palm tree, native to Central and South America. Since the berries can spoil very quickly, one way to get your daily dose (along with a number of other essential nutrients including vitamin B12) is with Sense for Busy Lives powder. Try mixing some into a breakfast smoothie. (RRP £21.99 boots.com)

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